As women in today’s society we are often trying to juggle many things including impressive and successful careers, parenting, family life, elderly parents and the demands that everyday life throws at you. It’s a challenge in itself and it can have a huge impact on your sense of wellbeing.
Women are natural nurturers. Being strong independent women, taking responsibility for our own success, caring for those around us and coping with the relentless demands of everyday life is never easy. All too often we are too tired and exhausted to enjoy the things that would ordinarily bring us pleasure. We’re all doing the best we can at any given time. This is true even when we disappoint others, but especially when we disappoint ourselves. We have to find a way to prioritise our health and wellbeing, even when life is chaotic.
When we are feeling overwhelmed, often we need a lightbulb moment to recognise this and get out of it. We need the realisation it won’t sort itself out and we need to take action to improve our wellbeing. Sometimes we need to be brought to that place of needing answers so that we can find our way, seek out wellbeing experiences and inspiration to bring us closer to our own truth, find some inner peace and create more balance in our lives. We need to show up for ourselves before anyone, or anything else.
We can learn so much from observation of the self, being more aware of your overall wellness including the body and mind. Here are five steps to follow to improve your health and wellbeing:
Put yourself first
You are no good to anyone, least of all yourself, when you consistently show up tired, anxious and depressed. Make a self-care schedule for yourself, if time is short, start with a once-a-week plan and then slowly incorporate this into a daily practice of 10 minute chunks if that works better for you. And show up for yourself, consistently. You wouldn’t not show up for a scheduled business meeting so don’t go letting yourself down either.
Learn how to relax
Practising relaxation techniques on a regular basis will bring you many health and wellness benefits. Of course, many of us don’t always have 30 minutes a day spare and in which case 10 minutes per day is better than none at all. When your on/off button is stuck in the ‘on’ position it’s very difficult to stop, never mind slow down. So many people operating at this level find it very challenging to change gear and slow down, particularly for extended periods of time. Give yourself a fighting chance and start with just 5 minute sessions, slowly building up to 10 minutes and so on, until you find what works well for you. Let yourself be guided by what feels right at the time. Allow yourself to be adaptable and flexible while learning this new skill.
Create a bag of tricks for yourself and have them readily available to help soothe and calm the noise in your head. There are lots of relaxing, stress-reducing books, apps, podcasts, music, successful business women offering fabulous free content for women’s wellbeing, guided meditation etc on various different platforms. Do some research on your favourite platforms – you are more likely to commit and engage with your relaxation practice if you use a platform/medium of your preference. You can equip yourself with a handy set of wellbeing tools to easily dip in and out of, creating a quiet space to really connect and enjoy your relaxation practice.
Regular Exercise/Nutrition to boost wellbeing
Consider things like activity levels and nutrition. Schedule in some form of regular activity, exercise, workout, yoga, pilates, meditation etc into your daily routine; this will help strengthen your body and mind. Again, these workouts don’t have to be strenuous, hard hitting and fast paced. Try something more slower paced, connect with nature, natural light, sounds, smells etc. Spend some time planning and preparing healthy meals instead of grabbing convenient ‘on the go’ food. Try starting by making at least three healthy meals a week, and then forming patterns of focussing on quick but healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners. If you don’t have time each day, then think about doing some bulk food prep and preparing a batch of healthy breakfasts ahead of time. For example, overnight oats work really well prepared ahead of time and you can just add fresh fruit daily.
Make a To Do List
Start each day with a game plan – make a quick ‘to do’ list to reduce stress and prevent overwhelm. This not only organises and prioritises tasks, but also helps you recognise when you are at capacity and over committing. This in turn prevents overwhelm before you reach crisis point! Make sure your time for you is top of your list. It doesn’t have to be the first thing you do each day. It can easily be the last thing you do, but wherever it is on your list … do it.
When we are overstretched, over committed or overwhelmed, our communication is often impaired – we become irritable, angry and frustrated. This will not serve you or your relationships well (personal, professional or otherwise). Learn to master your to do list and the art of saying no. Mastering your ‘to do’ list does not mean doing everything on it at 100 miles an hour. It simply means only put things on the list that are absolutely necessary and achievable for any given day.
Phoebe Greenacre, holistic therapist, meditation and yoga wellbeing expert regularly offers quick and easy to follow guided meditation sessions. Danielle Collins, The Face Yoga Expert, is another fabulous inspirational wellbeing professional. Danielle shares amazing free content on her social media platforms and YouTube channels combining Face Yoga, massage acupressure and affirmation. It’s easy to incorporate these techniques into your daily facial hygiene routine, improving overall wellbeing for the body and mind.
As you develop the art of self discovery and relaxation, continue to write down all the things that could potentially help calm the chaos in your world and improve your wellbeing. These don’t need to be hour long activities, start with small 10 minute daily goals to help balance the stressful demands of daily life.